Everton must prepare for Romelu Lukaku exit if they fail to secure European football

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After 26 Premier League games, very few people would have expected Roberto Martinez's Everton to be languishing in the bottom half of the table.

However, that is precisely the case for a team with so much talent at its disposal that it should really be fighting for the European places.

And with the club continually underachieving, they face the unnerving reality that Romelu Lukaku could seek pastures new this summer.


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Only Leicester City’s Jamie Vardy has scored more goals this campaign than the Belgian, whilst Harry Kane has scored the very same with 16 strikes to date.

The difference between Lukaku and his two rivals, though, is that whilst his side struggle in the bottom half, Vardy and Kane are both challenging for the Premier League title - arguably a position that a player of Lukaku's quality should also find himself in.

Martinez insists on building a young and exciting side at Everton, with the likes of Lukaku, Ross Barkley, Gerard Deulofeu and John Stones at the centre. If the Spaniard can retain these four over the summer, Everton can yet become a Premier League powerhouse, but the fact of the matter is Lukaku is at the level where he should already be part of such a side.

The 22-year-old striker has made no secret in the past of his desire to eventually leave Everton and play for a 'top club' - he might just be hoping that a move comes sooner rather than later.

The Goodison Park outfit have previously proved tough negotiators when it comes to their star players, but with Lukaku unlikely to be short on offers, they may struggle to fend off interest this time around.

Premier League heavyweights Manchester United, Manchester City and Arsenal will all likely be on the lookout for attacking reinforcements this summer, especially so the former two, given the Red Devils' struggle in front of goal and City's lack of quality back up to Sergio Aguero.

Therefore, unless Everton manage to rid of their defensive deficiencies and scale the table into a Europa League place, Lukaku's departure is to be expected.

And perhaps manager Martinez is aware of this, after splashing £13.5 million on Lokomotiv Moscow striker Oumar Niasse in January - a smart move in the long run, perhaps.

Everton must do all they can to keep hold of Lukaku, of course, but that might not be possible given the youngster's aspirations to play at the peak of European football.

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